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Young Americans Enhanced, Original recording reissued

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4.5 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Sept. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Original recording reissued
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00001OH7T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 460 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Young Americans (1999 Digital Remaster)
  2. Win (1999 Digital Remaster)
  3. Fascination (1999 Digital Remaster)
  4. Right (1999 Digital Remaster)
  5. Somebody Up There Likes Me (1999 Digital Remaster)
  6. Across The Universe (1999 Digital Remaster)
  7. Can You Hear Me (1999 Digital Remaster)
  8. Fame (1999 Digital Remaster)

Product Description

Product Description

Remastered Fts : "Fame","Can You Hear Me",'Win", "Fascination", "Across the Universe"

Amazon.co.uk

By 1975, when Young Americans was originally released, people were accustomed to being surprised by David Bowie. Even so, his decision to immerse himself in the traditions of Philadelphia soul raised eyebrows to heights rarely witnessed before or since. In retrospect, Young Americans occupies a reasonably logical place in the Bowie canon, containing both faint echoes of the glam excess of the preceding Diamond Dogs and subtle hints of Bowie's encroaching cocaine paranoia that would result, a year later, in the compellingly deranged Station To Station. It has never been in Bowie's nature to do things by halves, and he went about making Young Americans with the demented energy that has propelled his career to such towering altitudes and such horrifying depths (guest musicians included John Lennon, Luther Vandross and David Sanborn). The quality control was certainly uneven--the album contains such great moments as the title track, "Fame" and "Win", and a lot of wishy-washy fillers, even by Bowie's standards. But, taken as a whole, Young Americans remains one of the most influential records of Bowie's influential career. --Andrew Mueller

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In the Summer of 1974 while Bowie was taking a break from the "Diamond Dogs" tour he booked himself into the Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia to record what would later turn out to be one of his most influential albums of the 70's as years later this recording would give 80's bands such as ABC, Spandau Ballet and Simply Red a blueprint to follow.

The influence of American music had been hinted at on previous albums such as "Aladdin Sane" and "Diamond Dogs", albums which have a rougher R'n'B slant to them, think of "1984" from the latter and you have a clear indication of what was to come.

For this recording Bowie had assembled a bona fide rhythm and blues band for the making of the album, which included Willy Weeks on bass along with Andy Newmark on drums and on saxophone the Jazz legend David Sanborn.

The recording sessions of this album was split into 3 main sessions with 2 of them in Philadelphia and a last minute session taking place in New York with the late John Lennon taking part on 2 tracks adding vocals and guitar to "Across the Universe" and "Fame".

The title track starts off the album, this has at it's heart a frantic shrieking alto saxophone played by Sanborn this is introduced by a run on the piano by long serving Bowie side-man Mike Garson which is played off the sound of Latin flavoured percussion this adds the beat with Luther Vandross leading the backing singers, Bowie croons about everyday life in America after Watergate.
The groove is urgent and compulsive, with Bowie even borrowing a catch phrase from the Beatles when the backing singers sing the line "I heard the news today, oh boy" at a crucial moment, but the killer line is when Bowie sobs "Ain't there one damn song that can make break down and cry".
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By Marty From SF HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
"Young Americans" still surprises me to this day with it's amazing R&B. The sound was more clearly mixed than "Diamond Dogs" and it was a real departure for Bowie. The regular remastered CD with, "John, I'm Only Dancing", "Who Can I Be Now?" and "It's Gonna Be Me" sounds even better than the original CD. The extra three tracks are on par with the other songs and its bewildering that in an era when 12 songs per album were standard, Bowie released an eight song album. "John, I'm Only Dancing" is a much more improved R&B version than the rock version.

The 5.1 mix surprised me. It is not perfect and I like it that way. Luther Vandross's back-up vocals come mostly from the rear speakers and you can hear him much more clearly. The congas on "Young Americans" are a little loud for the mix, but it makes the whole experience seem more like a live studio recording instead of a carefully remastered remix. In fact, Bowie mentioned in the liner notes that he liked recording this album with all the instruments playing at once while he sang. There are other surprises. On this DVD you can hear John Lennon speak briefly after one song and the finale of "Fame" has each word of 'fame' descending going around the room from speaker to speaker, but the loud shout of 'fame!' before, 'what's your name, what's your name, what's your name...' is missing. It catches you!

The Dick Cavett interview is a treat, with Bowie sniffing and wiping his nose while fidgeting with his cane. So he did a lot of coke during this period. Who cares? The album is a perfect choice for surround sound. And that sound will vary from system to system.
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Format: Audio CD
On first listening this does not match Ziggy Stardust or Hunky Dory, but the more you get to know Bowie's work the more you should appreciate it. More than any of this other albums this has one linked mood. The mood I guess being an insight into the blissed out, cocaine high of an international rock star from the mid seventies, who has a golden touch and is living his life to the hilt. His singing on the title track is arguably his best ever. And most audacious of all, wonder at how a skinny white guy from Bromley with bad teeth and a dodgy eye can make his version of black urban soul music sound so good.
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Format: Audio CD
This album could have been Bowie's greatest work. A complete departure from Diamond Dogs released only a year before. I love every song on this album. From "Win" to "Can You Hear Me" this album flows. But I have to add that Young Americans is spoilt somewhat by the Across The Universe. Yes no doubt Bowie was flattered that Lennon wanted to co write the fantastic "Fame" track. But did Bowie have to jettison two amazing tracks as "Its Gonna Be Me" and "Who Can I Be Now" to make room for Across The Universe cover which subtracts from the finished album?
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Format: Audio CD
This loses a star because it is a DVD-Video disc, and as such the much anticipated 5.1 mixes from Tony Visconti (That were mixed with DVD-Audio in mind) are compressed versions.

Okay, DTS 96/24 is as good as it can ever get on a DVD-Video disc, but it would have been infinitely superior in lossless. Given the EMI Signature series releases have been superb, in DVD-A/V format, it seems strange to me that we are robbed of High Resolution mixes for this title.

Kudos for the Dick Cavett show - but again, strike a point for missing off "Footstompin'" and strike another point for claiming it is "lost". It isn't.

It's still doing the rounds on various bootleg sites in high quality with even the Audio at least as good as on display here. Still, it's worthwhile IMHO.

Final grump from me is the SERIOUSLY ANNOYING LOUD SNATCH OF THE TITLE TRACK IN THE MAIN MENU (see how irritating it is being shouted at? That's what menu music as loud as this is - digital shouting. Bad form.)

Moving on to the good points....the mix in 5.1 is truly outstanding. The title track kicks in with what is - at first - a disconcerting reverb on the drums, but TV has done a superb job & has recaptured the feel of '74 era bowie in a truly outstanding manner. The BV's are predominantly to the rear channels (listen carefully, as this album was the now legendary Luther Vandross' first serious session outing) and the main vocals are not isolated in the centre, but in L/R with the centre seemingly used for a vocal slapback effect. It works, and it works well.
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